ACC: Kenan Stadium

ACC in the morning -- Part II: Bowden's call for help

September, 3, 2008
9/03/08
8:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

This is impressive. Clemson coach Tommy Bowden swallowed his pride and called Nick Saban for advice. And Mark Richt. And Frank Beamer. And his father. He said their feedback will help him help the team regroup after the loss to Alabama.

  • After that loss, Wake Forest was the only ACC team ranked in the AP poll. Personally, I think it's a little extreme to drop a previously top 10 team out of the rankings entirely after just one game.
  • Which is why The Citadel coach Kevin Higgins is expecting the Tigers' best.
  • Will Georgia Tech look as good against the Boston College defense? T.J. Barnes, a defensive tackle on the scout team, is doing his best to help them get ready. And the coaching staff is doing its best to try and limit Michael Johnson to under, say, 90 plays.
  • Of course, the opposite question also needs to be asked. How will the Eagles fare against Paul Johnson's triple-option offense? The last time these teams met, it took a last-second field goal for BC to win the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Now, a league game is at stake.
  • If not for the death of former Miami lineman Bryan Pata, Florida safety Major Wright would be lining up for the Hurricanes on Saturday.
  • Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice's record really is a thing of the past after UNC receiver Brandon Tate's record-setting performance last week.
  • Oh, and those guys who jumped out of the plane and landed on Duke's field? They hope to get another shot at Kenan Stadium some day. Hey, everybody makes mistakes. I jumped out of a plane once, and it's not like there's a steering wheel on those things.
  • Injured Duke running back Re'quan Boyette contributed in his own way this past weekend, but the Blue Devils also found a capable back in Boyette's good friend Clifford Harris.
  • Even with its suspensions for the first two games, FSU should start the season 2-0. But will they be mismatches compared to any of these?
  • The Seminoles' depth chart is complete with one exception -- quarterback.

Duke gets UNC's game ball -- and its paratroopers?

September, 1, 2008
9/01/08
2:25
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Not sure if you guys have seen this, but it's pretty funny.

Paratroopers were supposed to land on the field at UNC's Kenan Stadium prior to kickoff this past weekend and they missed their mark by about, say, eight miles. Considering the way they both played on Saturday, I'd say it was only fitting they delivered it to the Blue Devils.

UNC update

August, 13, 2008
8/13/08
9:52
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Heading over to Kenan Stadium now to talk to Butch Davis and some players.

Practice was closed this morning but I'll go back for the second session this evening, which is open for the first 45 minutes. I'll also have some other ACC stuff for you throughout the day.

The fans speak: ACC stadium rankings II

July, 14, 2008
7/14/08
6:35
PM ET
 
 Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
 Clemson's Memorial Stadium is the NEW toughest place to play in the ACC.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

OK people, there's something you need to know about this blog: I'm listening. I'm reading. I'm lurking. And I can HEAR you ... Does your mother know you talk like that?

I'm going to be honest with you: If I had to do it over again, I would. Oh, look, I can!

Here it is -- same words, different ranking with a short explanation below it. Thanks for all of your feedback. Now, complain all you want, this is the final version:

1. Clemson, Memorial Stadium (81,500) -- The Rock. The Hill. Death Valley. Need I say more?

Previous ranking, No. 3 -- I moved this one up because the atmosphere here is awesome, the football is some of the best in the league, and the fans get this place so loud it gives me goosebumps. It's among my favorite places to cover a game. I should've listened to my instinct first time around.

2. Virginia Tech, Lane Stadium (66,233) -- This place sells out, and Hokies fans make this one of the toughest stadiums in the country. Which is why Boston College's fourth-quarter comeback in Blacksburg last season was all the more impressive.

PR No. 1 -- Dropped a spot in favor of my gut feeling over Clemson. It just doesn't swallow you whole like Death Valley.

3. Florida State, Doak S. Campbell Stadium (82,300) -- The program's history is as concrete as the structure here, and you can feel the tradition even during a weekday. With Osceola and Renegade, the war chant ... this is college football.

PR No. 2 -- The game day traditions here are outstanding, but Clemson's move had to bump this down a notch.

4. NC State, Carter-Finley Stadium (57,500) -- The fairly new facilities here are impressive, but it lacks tradition.

PR No. 11 -- I was stuck on the lack of tradition with this program, and lack of recent wins, but Wolfpack fans are passionate enough to compensate for that. I heard them at the Raleigh Regional baseball games and read their e-mails yesterday.

5. Georgia Tech, Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000) -- Roll out the Ramblin' Wreck, and this place is rockin'. It's the oldest stadium in Division I, but it's location in the heart of Atlanta and its fans make it unique.

PR 5 -- Same.

6. UNC, Kenan Stadium (60,000) -- This place is just the right size, and the picturesque pine trees make this one of the nicest venues in the league. Butch Davis has an amazing view of all of it from his office.

PR 4 -- Argue all you want about this spot, but the intimate setting here is great for fans and the facilities here should impress any recruit.

7. Virginia, Scott Stadium (61,500) -- Despite the open press box (which I always seem to forget on the coldest of Saturdays), this place is gorgeous. The columns on the hill and the architecture make this one of my favorite fall road trips.

PR 6 Who's afraid of fans in ties?

8. Wake Forest, Groves Stadium (31,500) -- With around 4,000 undergrads, it's only going to get so loud in here. Deacon Hill is unique, though, and the fans are faithful and appreciative.

PR 9 -- It's still better than the last three.

9. Boston College, Alumni Stadium (44,500) -- Eh. Sorry, Eagles fans, but not only don't you travel well for bowl games, but you guys can't even pack your place for FSU on prime time.

PR 8 -- That pretty much summed it up.

10. Maryland, Byrd Stadium (51,500) -- Go ahead and get Ralph Friedgen started about the lacrosse team ripping up Byrd. There have been times when it looks dustier than my bookshelves, but the renovations and suites should be an upgrade.

PR 7 -- I'll admit, I gave this too much credit the first time around, which was dumb, considering how many games I've seen there and said, "the field looks awful." And the pregame atmosphere is lacking.

11. Miami, Dolphin Stadium (75,235) -- Well, the Orange Bowl was a dump, but there were some great and historic games there. The NFL venue just won't be the same and it will take away from the college gameday feeling.

PR 10 -- The only thing worse than trading the college atmosphere for an oversized NFL arena is ...

12. Duke, Wallace Wade Stadium (33,941) -- In our interview earlier this week, David Cutcliffe called Wallace Wade Stadium "quaint." Not exactly the atmosphere you're looking for when you want some smashmouth football. Then again, they've got to start playing some smashmouth football.

Same ranking.

Toughest stadiums in the ACC

July, 11, 2008
7/11/08
3:32
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

As EA Sports prepares to release its NCAA Football 09 next week, one of the features that came out is a gallery of the "25 toughest stadiums" in college football, according to NCAA Football 09

It seemed like the perfect opportunity for a discussion about the toughest places to play in the ACC. Considering the entire gameday atmosphere, (and yes, I've been to all of them), here's what I came up with for the overall best venues in the league:

 
 Joe Murphy/WireImage.com
 Lane Stadium was opened in 1965.

1. Virginia Tech, Lane Stadium (66,233) -- This place sells out, and Hokies fans make this one of the toughest stadiums in the country. Which is why Boston College's fourth-quarter comeback in Blacksburg last season was all the more impressive.

2. Florida State, Doak S. Campbell Stadium (82,300) -- The program's history is as concrete as the structure here, and you can feel the tradition even during a weekday. With Osceola and Renegade, the war chant ... this is college football.

3. Clemson, Memorial Stadium (81,500) -- The Rock. The Hill. Death Valley. Need I say more?

4. UNC, Kenan Stadium (60,000) -- This place is just the right size, and the picturesque pine trees make this one of the nicest venues in the league. Butch Davis has an amazing view of all of it from his office.

5. Georgia Tech, Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000) -- Roll out the Ramblin' Wreck, and this place is rockin'. It's the oldest stadium in Division I, but it's location in the heart of Atlanta and its fans make it unique.

6. Virginia, Scott Stadium (51,500) -- Despite the open press box (which I always seem to forget on the coldest of Saturdays), this place is gorgeous. The columns on the hill and the architecture make this one of my favorite fall road trips.

7. Maryland, Byrd Stadium (51,500) -- Go ahead and get Ralph Friedgen started about the lacrosse team ripping up Byrd. There have been times when it looks dustier than my bookshelves, but the renovations and suites should be an upgrade.

8. Boston College, Alumni Stadium (44,500) -- Eh. Sorry, Eagles fans, but not only don't you travel well for bowl games, but you guys can't even pack your place for FSU on prime time.

9. Wake Forest, Groves Stadium (31,500) -- With around 4,000 undergrads, it's only going to get so loud in here. Deacon Hill is unique, though, and the fans are faithful and appreciative.

10. Miami, Dolphin Stadium (75,235) -- Well, the Orange Bowl was a dump, but there were some great and historic games there. The NFL venue just won't be the same and it will take away from the college gameday feeling.

11. NC State, Carter-Finley Stadium (57,500) -- The farily new facilities here are impressive, but it lacks tradition.

12. Duke, Wallace Wade Stadium (33,941) -- In our interview earlier this week, David Cutcliffe called Wallace Wade Stadium "quaint." Not exactly the atmosphere you're looking for when you want some smashmouth football. Then again, they've got to start playing some smashmouth football.

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